Insulin Postprandial is a test that measures Insulin levels in the blood after 2 hours of having food.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin helps in promoting the absorption of glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. In these cells, glucose is used for the production of energy, which is utilized by the body. Insulin production is high when the glucose levels in the blood are high and insulin production is low when glucose levels in the blood are low.
Insulin attaches to the target cell receptors and allows the cell to absorb glucose from the blood and the cells utilize the absorbed glucose to produce energy. Insulin thus maintains the blood glucose levels and prevents the hypoglycemia (low in blood glucose or sugar levels) and hyperglycemia (high in blood glucose or sugar levels). If there is more glucose or sugar in the body than needed, insulin helps to store the excess glucose or sugar in the liver. The stored sugar or glucose is released when blood glucose or sugar levels are low or whenever the body needs more glucose such as during physical activity.
In any case, insulin secretion is abnormal or stopped, then it may lead to an increase in the blood sugar levels and cause Diabetes mellitus. If beta cells of the pancreas are not functional or damaged or destroyed, then the production of insulin is decreased or stopped. As insulin production is stopped due to damaged beta cells, target tissue cells cannot absorb the glucose or sugar present in the blood and thus leads to an increase in the blood sugar or glucose levels, which cause Type-1 Diabetes mellitus. If the cells in the body are resistant to the insulin produced or only little amount of insulin is produced which is insufficient for cells which leads to type-2 Diabetes mellitus.
Why this test is performed?
The doctor may ask to perform this test if the patient is suffering from symptoms like frequent urination, hunger, blurred vision, fatigue, increased thirst or dry mouth, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, poor wound healing, foot pain and numbness, frequent infections, itching around penis or vagina, sweating, fast heart rate, sleepiness, headache, nausea and vomiting, etc. which are common symptoms of Diabetes mellitus. This test also helps the physician to find whether an individual is having insulin resistance or not. In some cases, this test is performed to find out the effectiveness of the treatment. If a patient is on the treatment of diabetic medications like insulin or other antidiabetic drugs, then the doctor may ask to perform this test to evaluate and to check the insulin blood levels in the body. This helps the doctor to rule out the patient ’s disease condition. Along with this test, some other insulin and glucose tests may be recommended by a physician to confirm the diagnosis.
This test is also performed to understand whether an individual suffers from pancreatitis (inflammation in the pancreas), Cushing syndrome (pink and purple stretch marks along with round face and large tummy), acromegaly (enlargement of the face, hand, and feet), insulinomas (excess production of insulin due to tumor in the pancreas)
Drugs like corticosteroids, levodopa, oral contraceptives may change the levels of Insulin in the blood. The amount of food consumed may also change the levels of Insulin PP. So inform your doctor prior to the test if you are on these medications.
For individuals above 45 years of age, this test is suggested once a year. The frequency of this test depends on various factors like body weight, history of a heart disease, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, imbalance of female sex hormones, a family member with diabetes, physically inactive, and polycystic ovary disease, etc. Children above 10 years of age with any of two above-mentioned risk factors should be recommended to this test at least once in every 2 years even with no symptoms.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Insulin Post Prandial. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Insulin Post Prandial.
After 2 hours of meal consumption, Insulin Postprandial test is done. Usually, the blood is drawn in the morning after 2 hours of breakfast or in the afternoon after 2 hours of meals.
If the test results are in normal range then the insulin production by the pancreas is normal and no need for further medical intervention.
In case of increased Insulin postprandial levels in the blood than the normal range which may be due to overweight, insulinoma, Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus, hyperinsulinism (increase in the insulin levels than the normal range), Cushing’s syndrome (pink and purple stretch marks along with round face and large tummy), acromegaly (enlargement of the face, hand, and feet), hyperthyroidism (excess production of hormones from thyroid gland), or insulin resistance.
If the level of insulin postprandial is less than the normal range which may be due to untreated Type-1 Diabetes Mellitus.
|OTHER||All age groups||30 - 230mIU/L (30 mins after Glucose administration), 18 - 276mIU/L (1 Hour after Glucose administration), 16 - 166mIU/L (2 Hours after Glucose administration)|